business

Latest News
7:29 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Hercules Plans Layoffs Of Offshore Workers

Hercules Offshore says it will lay off 324 offshore Gulf of Mexico workers because of a decline in business.

The move represents about 15 percent of its workforce.

The Houston-based drilling rig contractor sent a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission last week, saying the company would lay off the employees by the end of the year.

The layoffs involve employees who work out of Port Fourchon, Grand Isle, Berwick, Cameron, Abbeville, Lafitte, Larose and Venice.

The company announced an $88.6 million third quarter loss on October 23.

Features
4:57 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Retailers In New Orleans Are Warming Up To Bitcoin

At Davids Antiques in the French Quarter, there is bitcoin memorabilia everywhere. One whole display under glass is devoted to bitcoin-themed souvenirs, like cufflinks and lapel pins.
Janaya Williams WWNO

Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin don’t enjoy widespread use yet. It turns out, most retail stores and consumers still prefer good old fashioned paper money.

But the currency is catching on with a few mavericks around the globe — including some innovative business owners right here in New Orleans.

At a few local stores, customers can open their virtual Bitcoin wallets to buy everything from antique jewelry and furniture — to french fries and po-boys.

Innovation and technology reporting on WWNO is supported by Bellwether Technology.

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Out To Lunch
1:00 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Out To Lunch: The Power And The Shrimp

Peter Ricchiuti, Jay Lapeyre and Mark Kleehammer.
Credit Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

If you live in New Orleans you're familiar with this scenario: You're having a perfectly normal day when suddenly you groan, "Oh noooo." You're not watching the Saints' defense — it's that other sinking feeling you get as a New Orleanian: when the power goes off.

On this week's Out to Lunch Peter takes a look at the other 364 days, 23 hours in the life of New Orleans' Fortune 500 company, Entergy, with Mark Kleehammer, Entergy's Vice President of Business Development Services.

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Business & Technology
10:29 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Chiquita Fruit Company Is Bought By Two Brazilian Firms

Chiquita, whose bananas are found in markets around the U.S., has agreed to sell itself to a coalition of two Brazilian companies.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 1:47 pm

Chiquita Brands International, the banana and produce firm whose trademark blue stickers have been ubiquitous in American kitchens for decades, is being sold to two Brazilian companies in a deal valued at around $1.3 billion. The Charlotte-based company traces its roots to the 1870s, when American entrepreneurs brought bananas to U.S. consumers from the Caribbean.

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Latest News
7:45 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Chiquita Finds Downtown New Orleans Property

Chiquita has chosen a site near downtown New Orleans to ripen the bananas it ships in from Central America.

Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange tells New Orleans CityBusiness that the company will lease private property on Earhart Boulevard near South Claiborne Avenue. 

The company’s search was thought to involve only port-owned property. According to port officials, the produce company required about 40,000 square feet of space.

Chiquita has continued handling the ripening process at the Port of Gulfport in Mississippi.

Out To Lunch
1:00 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Out To Lunch: Health 'N Ed

Peter Ricchiuti, Caroline Roemer Shirley and Lena Sendik.
Credit Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

Whatever era of boom or bust we’re in, it seems we never stop working on healthcare, or on education.

Locally, in education, New Orleans is the only city in the United States where 100 percent of our public schools are charter schools. What started out as a post-Katrina experiment has become a nationwide trend setting model. The Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, Caroline Roemer Shirley, explains the revolutionary new business model to Peter Ricchiuti on this episode of Out to Lunch.

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Latest News
7:42 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Times-Picayune Closing Pressroom, Cutting 100 Jobs

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune says it will be closing the newspaper’s pressroom in late 2015 or early 2016.

The New Orleans paper will be printed in Mobile, Alabama.

The move will eliminate 100 jobs at the company, which prints and packages the newspaper.

NOLA Media Group, which operates the website and publishes the newspaper, says news and ad sales staffs will remain the same.

Its news staff of 165 includes 95 reporters. Fifty-seven freelancers also contribute to the website and newspaper.

Coastal Desk
6:01 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Working On Water Symposium Encourages Fishermen To Supplement Income With EcoTourism

An airboat in the wetlands.
Credit USGS South Florida Information Access

A coalition of foundations, non-profits government departments, and higher education institutions are looking to help Coastal Louisianans invest in some new industries. The Working on the Water symposium took place Tuesday, October 21 in St. Bernard Parish. 

It would have been a beautiful day to be out on the water. But around 45 local fisherman left their boats docked, and drove to the town of Violet instead.

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Out To Lunch
1:00 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Out To Lunch: French Market Film Market

Jolene Pinder and Jon Smith.

When you're the CEO of a company you're principally required to make money. Then there's a whole other kind of business leadership, where things aren't quite so black and white.

Peter's guests on this episode of Out to Lunch inhabit a business world where they're supposed to make money and juggle often conflicting demands of politics, the local and tourist economy, the public good, urban history, and entertainment.

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Red River Radio
9:08 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Whole Foods Market makes it official in Shreveport

Whole Foods Market is building a 32,000 square-foot grocery store in Shreveport at East 70th Street and Fern Avenue.

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 12:47 pm

Construction on a Whole Foods Market is officially underway in Shreveport.

It marks the sixth grocery store in Louisiana for the Austin, Texas-based chain that specializes in natural and organic products, and prepared foods.

At a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, the company’s executive marketing coordinator for the southwest region Laura Zappi reassured Shreveporters who have pined for Whole Foods that the attraction was always mutual.

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